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Natural/Hand-held camera path app

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Ben Ferns
Natural/Hand-held camera path app
on Mar 10, 2018 at 1:39:20 am

Hey all, I wanted to do a quick check if there would be any interest in a tool I built to solve a problem. Basically I needed a handheld camera shot with a particular motion around an object, and hand-animating the path would have been too laborious. Instead I wrote an app that let me physically make the camera motion I wanted with a smartphone, and export it as keyframes.

This worked better than filming the shot and trying to extract a camera track, as it was faster to iterate on, I could use more dramatic movements, and I didn't need to worry about feature points being in frame. It's centimeter-accurate and I have the camera on-screen so its possible to use real-world framing/scale cues.

The app is in a real rough state currently (I'm manually extracting the takes, running a script on my PC to convert them etc) but if theres interest I was thinking of polishing it up so it can handle multiple takes easily and upload the tracks to a site so you can just download and import them directly (maybe even to the level of Ctrl-C Ctrl-V in After Effects). 

So I guess the question is; have you had a job where this tool would have come in handy? And would you have paid to save the time & effort of doing it manually/via tracking footage? (I'm also thinking it could be used for object motion too, but for now I think camera motion is the most obvious).


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Spencer Tweed
Re: Natural/Hand-held camera path app
on Mar 10, 2018 at 6:25:11 am

A few years ago I was looking everywhere for this! I'd definitely be interested.

- Spencer


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Ben Ferns
Re: Natural/Hand-held camera path app
on Mar 10, 2018 at 6:44:15 am

Great! So I'm not crazy! (maybe)

What shot were you trying to make? Did you end up hand-animating it, or shooting it with a camera and trying to extract the path?


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Spencer Tweed
Re: Natural/Hand-held camera path app
on Mar 10, 2018 at 6:53:55 am

Don't even remember what the shot was anymore... I just hand animated it.

- Spencer


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Natural/Hand-held camera path app
on Mar 16, 2018 at 8:17:36 pm

I'll bet there would be a lot of interest in this if you can get it to work smoothly. I'd love it.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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